Mardin cuisine reflects the lifestyle and climate of the region, and makes ample use of local ingredients. Like the rest of Southern and Eastern Anatolian cuisine, Mardin fare is spicy, cooked with plenty of oil, and largely meat-based. Two of the most popular dishes are ‘çiğ köfte’ (spicy raw meatballs) and rice. Cracked bulgur wheat also plays an important role in the Mardin kitchen.
Mardin dishes are not only delicious but also beautifully presented. Wild greens with curative properties such as mahaleb, ‘ıkşut’, wild cucumber, arborvitae, licorice, ‘gözdaşı’, ‘ıbzor’, fenugreek, lemon balm, malva and ‘gıbzara’ grow in and around Mardin, and feature prominently in both sweet and savory dishes.